The E-3LUE keyboard is one of the mid-range gaming keyboards that comes in at around $50, but promises a lot of features. Headlined in the product information is the facility to control the buttons and the colours of the buttons, as well as the anti-ghosting input, side lighting, manual feedback and a removable wrist pad. It promises to pack a punch, but does it deliver?
At a Glance
The keys are sturdy and responsive, but can feel a little far apart. As a mechanical keyboard this is almost faultless, although perhaps the depth of the keys could be a little more shallow.
Programming the colours and features is straightforward once you get your head around the Chinese instruction manual. The is a vast number of colour options, which are fun to play with, and the backlight is a really nice touch.
The gaming lighting presets and the ergonomic wrist pad height adjustment make this a really great choice for gamers. It has all of the features you need, done well, and then throws in a couple of unique design pieces that help it excel.
E-3LUE Keyboard Review
Before you get into any of the fun little extras like the colour programming or the button customisation, it is important to look at how the keyboard is to use. The first thing to remember is that this is a gaming keyboard so, as I write this review, it does feel quite cumbersome, but it is not designed for long-form typing. The buttons have a long feedback depth, which is something that divides gamers. If you are a fan of this, you’ll like the feel of this keyboard.
The button layout and spacing in relation to the detachable wrist pad work well, making the keyboard pretty comfy to use. The function keys are a bit of a stretch, however, with a not-insignificant gap between them and the main body of the keys, which is my main gripe with the design of the keyboard. I have large hands, but Fn+F1 with one hand is quite a stretch, although admittedly this isn’t a frequently-used key input.
Overall, it is hard to find major fault with the ergonomic design of the keyboard. It is unashamedly a mechanical gaming keyboard and delivers well on this. I would like the key pressing depth to be just a bit shallower, but that is a matter of personal preference.
Programming the E-3LUE
The instructions for programming the keyboard are a little hard to follow, as is all too common with products from the Far East. The issue is that, although the instructions are translated, the headers aren’t. This means you can follow the instructions pretty clearly, you just don’t know the action they are meant to perform. Programming the keys is basic, and you can find the simple method on the first page of the manual. For the most part the function symbols on the keys make sense, but you will need the manual to tell you when to long press, for example.
Once you have got to grips with the programming intricacies, you open up a lot of different options, especially with the colouring. Due to the confusing instructions, you’ll find that your best bet is to follow one particular command, see what it does and learn that way. Once you’ve had a play around, it is fairly simple to work out the rest.
Programming the colours is complex, but makes sense. There are six different options for the keyboard; a single colour (either steady or pulsating), a wave of colour when the FN key is pressed, a rippling effect, a wave effect, the stock alternating spectrum of colours, and a bouncing wave effect. The colour of the wave effects, and the single colour, can also be altered using a choice of RGB keys to select the one you want.
This is a fun feature to play around with and offers you a lot of different options to create a unique keyboard set-up. However, once you have got over the novelty of the programming, it is likely you’ll find one mode and just stick with that. I don’t like the keyboard changing colour as I type, so most of the features don’t for my particular style, but it is certainly nice to have the choice.
The last colour programming choice you have is the backlight, which comes in only one colour – blue. However, you can choose whether to make it pulsate, remain steady or you can switch it off completely. This is a nice touch and can really bring your desk to life, making the whole keyboard look much cooler with light surrounding the device, rather than just on the keys.
E-3LUE Gaming Use
Ultimately this is what this keyboard was born to do, so how does it stack up? In short, it stacks up with the best if them. We have tested a lot of gaming keyboards at Geeknaut, and none that we’ve put through its paces that can put this one to shame. There are some keyboards that might feel a little better to use, but nothing brings all these features together quite as well as the E-3LUE. Is that to say this is absolutely the best keyboard you can buy? Of course not. However, for the price you pay, and the features it offers, it’ll be hard to find one that is better across the board.
One key feature, which is crucial for gaming but not often advertised, is its anti-ghosting protection. Ghosting is when a keyboard doesn’t register two keys being pressed at the same time. This is a feature on some keyboards to help fast typers. However, in gaming, this can seriously jeopardise your performance. Though this isn’t a unique feature for this keyboard, it is refreshing that they are upfront with this information, and like all the other features, you know what you’re going to get.
Ultimately, this is one of the best gaming keyboards for its price. When we talk about gaming keyboards, the differences between models are usually very slim. It is hard to separate one good mechanical keyboard from another. However, what makes the E-3LUE gaming keyboard a good solid option is that it does everything it claims, and it does it well. A lot of other makers add dead features or make false promises as to the capabilities of the unit. However with the E-3LUE, you will have all the features listed on the box, and they’ll be engineered to a high level.